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November   9

How Many of These Are There Going to Be?

How many angels can dance on the end of a pin? And how many McMansions can Steve Plofker squeeze into the space formally known as the Marlboro Inn? Well, here's the first...

November 9, 2005 in Seen around town | Permalink



Posted by: Meghan | Nov 9, 2005 1:24:05 PM

Stop complaining. If you don't like them don't buy one. I wonder if people were compaining this much when all those raised ranch developments went up in the 50's and 60's.

Posted by: Bob | Nov 9, 2005 1:25:31 PM

Stop complaining. If you don't like them don't buy one. I wonder if people were compaining this much when all those raised ranch developments went up in the 50's and 60's.

Posted by: Bob | Nov 9, 2005 1:26:09 PM

I am not sure I get all the complaints either. I was sad to see Marborlo Inn go but now that its done, I don't have an issue with what's going there. (I wish it wasn't gone) There are plenty of 80 year old neighborhoods in baristaville that have houses close together.

Jeez, My house is that old and when I get out of my car in my driveway, my neighbor could hand me a cup of coffee out her window.

I am not sure I buy into that everything new is bad.

Posted by: girl | Nov 9, 2005 1:56:49 PM

i'd be curious to find one other montclair neighborhood where homes have no front yard *and* no backyard (not to mention no side yard).

i'm sure this design is unprecedented in montclair.

Posted by: ralph | Nov 9, 2005 2:07:16 PM

"I am not sure I buy into that everything new is bad."

Well, that remains to be seen, in this case anyway. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's a good thing.

I drove by the site the other day and I'm trying to summon my imagination to picture 10-12 houses of that size on this lot.

Maybe it's me but if I'm paying $500,000 and upwards for a house, I don't want to see or hear my neighbor unless I choose to do so.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Nov 9, 2005 2:14:32 PM

I recently noticed a lot of for sale signs in that area of Montclair. Does anyone know if there is a mass exodus happening or its just taking a while for things to sell?

Posted by: hrhppg | Nov 9, 2005 2:17:06 PM

The one thing that bugs me is the attempt to have one house's A/C unit facing Watchung -- find a way to put it in toward the interior of the property.

Posted by: Appletony | Nov 9, 2005 2:18:44 PM

I will certainly not stop complaining whenever there is a new development like this, or anything else that I'm not happy about in (or in this case in close proximity to, as I live in Bloomfield) my community. Most new developments are, in my opinion and taste, generally bad and I'll be very surprised if these are the exception. Besides that it could be historically interesting, I really don't care what people in the 50s and 60s thought because this development is going up now. I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Meghan | Nov 9, 2005 2:21:39 PM

Steve Plofker should be flogged.

I just like the alliteration in that.

Posted by: Black Irish | Nov 9, 2005 2:55:18 PM

That would be pflogged, BI...

But hey, you can't blame a guy for just trying to make a couple of trillion bucks, can you? So what if they are ugly, stupid, in violation of all the codes, and made from silly putty. There are still assholes out there who will buy them. Go figure.

Posted by: Bill the Cat | Nov 9, 2005 3:34:52 PM

Flogged on a blog.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Nov 9, 2005 3:38:06 PM

Bill the Cat is right.

Across from the IHOP in Bloomfield is another recent addition of a cookie cutter development. No yards, no personality, no landscaping - all sold for over 500K.

Posted by: hrhppg | Nov 9, 2005 3:43:34 PM

Ralf, get in your car and do some exploring. Drive to the south end of montclair and you will find many homes stacked on top of each other.

Posted by: bob | Nov 9, 2005 3:51:55 PM

There is a market for everything. Those houses will have habitants. And everyone will want to tour them, I'm sure. I agree, if I was spending mega $'s on a house, I would want property. But look what people spend on NYC properties and they don't get alot of land...

Posted by: barbara | Nov 9, 2005 4:26:54 PM

As a landscape designer, I'm curious to see what they plant around the homes. If I were planning the grounds, I would at least try to make it certified as a "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" and enhance the environment by planting native.

Posted by: barbara | Nov 9, 2005 4:30:19 PM

Look's like the 21st century version of Levittown is coming to Upper Montclair!

Posted by: Franklin | Nov 9, 2005 4:39:58 PM

I also live in a small house with a VERY small backyard and no front yard. I have happily lived in my house for 29 years, and enjoy knowing my neighbors and mowing my lawn in 15 minutes WITH A PUSH MOWER! I have a garden and grass and a garage and have never once wished I had acreage. So, even if YOU like living on a large lot with lots of grass to mow and lots of leaves to rake, do not assume that is what will make everyone else in the world happy!

Posted by: Barbara Rudy | Nov 9, 2005 4:45:13 PM

I don't think it's really about acreage versus no acreage.

I think it's about greed, and a developer who squeezes the greatest possible amount of pricey houses onto the smallest amount of land, destroying the character of the neighborhood, all the time assuring us that it's for the good of all.

It's the "new urbanism", he blithely informs us-- some trendy catchword from an architectural magazine. He's fostering a sense of COMMUNITY, because when you can smell your neighbor's garbage because your monstrosity of a house is squeezed up against theirs, you can really get to know him. Like you wouldn't be able to introduce yourself to him if there were 6 houses there instead of 10.

Posted by: latebloomer | Nov 9, 2005 5:05:55 PM

As someone whose childhood home was so near the house next door that I was able to put my back against one and my feet against the other and "walk" up to the second storey that way, I'm a-pinin' for some space (and greenery).

I suppose it's easier to be okay with living up close and personal if you like your neighbors, not so easy if you don't.

The last time I read about New Urbanism, they were finding out that setting porches within talking distance of the sidewalk wasn't helping people to be more neighborly -- the homeowners ignored one another as much as before. Maybe other studies have been conducted since then, maybe things have changed. Maybe society is fragmenting, maybe neighborliness all depends on who you and your neighbors are and where you live.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 9, 2005 6:15:22 PM

Well, from the look at all the fences people put up between yards -- it seems that neighbors want their privacy --even if they do like each other.

Maybe that new structure at Plofkers farm seems huge right now because it is the only one there....but for the life of me, I can't envision 10 of them on that site.( Maybe there has been a revision of the original plan?)

They look like there gonna be higher than any other structure in the area, which just doesnt look right to me.

I don't think you can compare the price of real etate in the burbs to that of real estate in the city.

Posted by: late | Nov 9, 2005 6:30:40 PM

oops-- they're not there. mia culpa

Posted by: late | Nov 9, 2005 6:32:22 PM

Plofker's use of the term "New Urbanism" is misleading.
His is just another poorly conceived tract-mansion development, IMHO.
Here's a link to a definition of New Urbanism


Posted by: sharky | Nov 9, 2005 6:49:53 PM

Didn't someone say (was it Robert Frost?) "Good fences make good neighbors." ?

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Nov 9, 2005 7:58:43 PM

Glad to see this subject posted, its been driving me crazy everytime I drive by. This house is just not to scale with the lot. And certainly most houses that size in Montclair have some kind of yard. It's hard for me to believe that this conforms to the plan that was approved by the zoning board. It looks like a classic bait & switch to me.

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